Instead of being a negative generation dreading their future, millennials globally remain upbeat and are actually cheerful despite tough economic times and grim job prospects.
Money matters affect today's 18 to 25-year-olds the most, with 68% feeling personally touched by the global economic crisis, according to an expanded global study from Viacom International Media Networks. But over three-quarters (76%) of millennials said they are "very happy" regardless.
Viacom’s new “The Next Normal: An Unprecedented Look at Millennials Worldwide,” which now includes additional Asian countries, found that millennials in the Philippines are especially glad, bucking the global trend.
Filipino millennials reported the highest levels of happiness in Asia (83%), followed by India (81%) and China (80%). Both Thailand and Malaysia were close to the global average, while Singapore millennials were below the global average at 69%.
Friendships off and online drive young people to be optimistic the most, according to the study. There is current trend towards maintain smaller circles of friends in real life compared with online friends in the last six year, which now averages over 200.
Family is another top driver of happiness for millennials today, Viacom found. “Thanks to the importance Millennials place on family bonds, the family unit today is closer than ever,” Christian Kurz (pictured), vice president of international research and insights, Viacom International Media Networks.
Close to half of young people (49%) believe that job security will continue to get worse. Also, while 38% of young people in 2006 strongly agreed with the statement, “I will earn more than my parents,” that percentage is now down to 25% in the post-crisis era.
Aside from being happy, Viacom also noted that millennials also have a growing sense of national pride and interest in maintaining local traditions. Around 83% agree “I’m proud to have their nationality,” up from 77% in 2006. Meanwhile, 76% agree that it’s important to maintain their country’s traditions, up from 68% in 2006.
Kruz recommends that targeting what is undeniably the most talked and lucrative consumer segment today means keeping global and local appeal in close check.
“A key priority for VIMN is to provide its audiences around the world with ‘glocal’ content --programming that strikes the right balance between global and local themes. Our findings from ‘The Next Normal’ indicate a truly positive display of ‘glocalisation’ in action among Millennials at an even deeper level,” he adds.